How to Change the Brake Pads on a 2002 Honda Accord

by David McGuffin
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Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

If the brakes on your 2002 Honda Accord are beginning to squeak and squeal, chances are that the brake pads either need a little lubricant or that they need replacing. Typically, brake pads can last anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on your driving style and driving conditions. Removing the front tires and looking at the pads will be the only way to tell whether or not the pads need replacing. However, if you are already hearing metal grinding on metal, then you will need to replace them as soon as possible.

Step 1

Park the 2002 Honda Accord on a level surface. Place 4x4 wood blocks behind the rear tires to make sure the car does not accidentally roll backwards while it is being held by the jack stands. If you have driven your Accord recently, wait for the brakes to cool off since they can be very hot to the touch.

Step 2

Raise the front driver's side of the car by placing a floor jack underneath the frame, near the door. Pump the jack until the tire is at least four inches off the ground. Insert a jack stand underneath the Accord's frame, in front of the floor jack. Double-check to make sure that the arm of the jack stand is centered underneath the frame and that all four legs are resting on the ground. Slowly lower the floor jack and repeat the same process on the passenger side of the Accord. Double-check to make sure that both tires are raised and are off the ground while being supported by the jack stands.

Step 3

Take off the front tires by using the lug nut wrench to unscrew the lug nuts. Put the tires in a place where they will be out of the way. Store the lug nuts on top of the tires, so that they are not lost or dirtied.

Step 4

Use a socket wrench to unscrew the two bolts that hold the brake calipers to the rotors. The calipers must be removed in order to access the brake pads. Use a torque wrench if the bolts are too tight to be undone with a regular socket wrench.

Step 5

Grab the brake caliper with both hands and slide it off the rotor. Be careful when sliding it off, since the brake-fluid line will still be attached to the caliper. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the brake pad pins from the caliper, which holds the pads and shims into place. Slide the brake pads and shims out from the Accord's caliper body. Clean the surface of the braking area with a silicone-based grease.

Step 6

Inspect the rotors of your 2002 Accord. If the rotors are cracked or damaged, you will need to resurface them by taking them to an auto-parts store. If you have heard metal on metal grinding from worn out brake pads contacting the rotors, the rotors should definitely be resurfaced. Resurfacing or replacing the rotors can be expensive; however, it is much more expensive, as well as dangerous, to continue driving your vehicle with bad rotors.

Step 7

Use a C-clamp to push the caliper piston, which appears as a hollow cylindrical part on the caliper, back into the caliper body. Try sliding the new brake pads and shims into place, so that you have enough room between the piston and the brake pad bracket. Pushing the piston back into the caliper body will cause fluid and air to back up in into the brake-fluid reservoir. Later, you will need to rectify this prior to driving by bleeding the brakes, which is accomplished by pumping the brake pedal multiple times after the entire job is finished.

Step 8

Slide the new brake pads and shims for your 2002 Accord onto the caliper and tighten the brake-pad pins with a socket wrench. Bolt the calipers back to the caliper bracket, making sure that the calipers line up with the bracket holes exactly. Reinstall the tires back and tighten the lug nuts. Double-check that every lug nut is tightened. Slowly lower the Accord from the jack stands by using the reverse of the same process that you used to raise the car. Remember to pump your brakes a couple of times to get the brake fluid circulating again through the braking system; this is evidenced by increased resistance on the brake pedal, when engaged.

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